Photo Credit: Jewish Press

According to the Torah, the tzitzis are supposed to be techeiles, a shade of blue. Chazal say that this is because the techeiles is blue like the sea, which is like the sky, which is like the kisei hakavod. So, the tzitzis are supposed to remind us that Hashem is watching us and we should do mitzvos and stay away from things that will pull us away from serving Hashem.

But why three steps away? Techeiles to sea to sky to Hashem. Why didn’t Chazal just write that the techeiles is like the sky which reminds of Hashem?


Why add that seemingly unnecessary step of mentioning the sea?

The answer is profound.

It is easy to connect with people when things are good and they are walking around with their head up high and looking towards the sky.

It is more difficult to connect with a person when they are downtrodden and can barely look straightforward, let alone upwards.

That’s why Chazal wrote that the techeiles is like the sea.

The sea, that thing that is low. Something that always finds the lowest point.

The techeiles shouldn’t just remind you of Hashem at times when you can look at the sky, it should assist you in remembering that Hashem is with you when you’re downtrodden and falling lower.

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Yisroel Picker is a Social Worker and certified trauma therapist with a private therapy practice. He also writes and speaks publicly about parenting, communication, cognitive biases and child sex abuse prevention. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and their five children.